Lake Louise day parking cost jumps to $36.75 in 2024

Visitors to one of Alberta’s most popular tourist destinations will be paying significantly more for parking this summer, should they decide to drive.

Paid parking at the Lake Louise lakeshore was introduced in 2021 as part of a two-year pilot program to incentivize the use of transit, reduce demand for parking and to help offset the cost of traffic management in the area.

The fee to park for a day when the fees were introduced was $11.70.

In 2022, it rose to $12.25 due to Consumer Price Index adjustments.

Then in 2023, it climbed once again to $21 a day.

This year, it will increase to $36.75 per day.

That’s a 75 per cent increase from last year, and a 214 per cent spike from when paid parking was introduced in 2021.

“In 2023, an average of 1,200 vehicles per day parked at the Lake Louise lakeshore, and between 3,000 and 5,000 vehicles per day were turned away because the parking lot was at capacity,” said Lake Louise Media Relations in an email.

If visitors don’t want to drive, they can pay to use Parks Canada’s shuttles, which run between May and October.

Parks Canada doesn’t profit off the paid parking or the shuttles, instead, the fees are used to recover the cost of delivering services to visitors.

“In the 2022/23 fiscal year (April 1, 2022 – March 31, 2023) the cost of traffic management in the Moraine Lake and Lake Louise area was $5.71 million. This includes the cost of the shuttles, traffic management contractors and staffing directly related to traffic management,” said Lake Louise Media Relations.

“Revenue from shuttle fares in the same time period was $1.78 million and revenue from paid parking was $2.09 million. The remaining $1.84 million cost was covered from Parks Canada’s budget for Banff National Park.

“The fees from paid parking ensure the costs for the shuttle service are offset in order to keep shuttle fees low.”

In 2023, shuttle fees have been reduced for children under 18, who will now ride for free.

Lake Louise Drive construction

Visitors to Lake Louise this year will also notice construction on Lake Louise Drive as it undergoes rehabilitation and modernization.

The roadway connects the community of Lake Louise to upper Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.

Parks Canada says vehicle traffic on Lake Louise Drive has risen by roughly 70 per cent over the last ten years, and it now hosts about one million vehicles per year.

“These improvements are necessary to maintain and upgrade infrastructure for transit, vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians on a roadway that now hosts over one million vehicles each year,” said Lake Louise Media Relations.

For more information on the project, you can visit Parks Canada’s website.

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